One of the lovely things about baking along with a bunch of great people, all the amazing Mellow Bakers out there, is that if you wait and see what they make of a recipe before you bake it, you can learn from what they do. So if there is anyone who fancies making this bread, do scoot over to the forum and join in anytime or just pop over to see what we have been baking!
This is a lovely bread, another great recipe by Jeffrey Hamelman, only one thing has caused a little discussion. The recipe calls for the cheese to be added part grated and part cubed. If you get pieces of parmesan on the outside of the loaf, or breaking through the skin they burn while the loaf is baking, apparently the taste is not good and the cheese tastes burnt and bitter.
The solution: either poke all the cubes back into the dough or simply, grate all the cheese. I did the latter; I’ve never had much success with cheese breads before, the cheese always coagulating in little reformed plasticy pools inside the bread with great caverns above. So though you can’t see the cheese in this bread, apart from the colour, you can certainly smell and taste it. Got the thumbs up from both Brian and Zeb (who loves cheese almost as much as Wallace).
I used half and half Parmesan and Pecorino because that is what I had in the house and I prefer Pecorino anyway.
The bread is a simple white sourdough with a little commercial yeast added to speed up the proving process. I reckon if you had any left over, it would make brilliant golden croutons with French onion soup, the bread has olive oil in it as well as all that lovely grated cheese, or on a Caesar salad, or fatoush, that is if you don’t just scoff the whole lot in one go!